Pubdate: Mon, 28 Feb 2005
Source: Liverpool Echo (UK)
Copyright: 2005 Trinity Mirror Plc
Fax: 0151 236 4682
Author: Ian Hernon,


MERSEYSIDE police seized more than 11kg of cocaine in four weeks as part of 
a blitz on drug dealers.

Operation Crackdown also saw 2.75kg of heroin and 461 assorted wraps of 
crack cocaine and heroin seized during January.

A crack house was closed down in St Helens and assets worth almost 
UKP80,000 were taken from criminals.

There were 55 arrests and 10 people charged with supply of classA drugs. In 
the first 28 days of a three-month blitz, the police also netted eight 
firearms, two replica firearms, 73 rounds of ammunition and two smoke grenades.

The offensive continued this month, with a drugs den closed by police 
aftera swoop in Huyton.

Operation Crackdown involves forces across the country and is being jointly 
run by the Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers.

But the force said the seizures represented only a fraction of their 
long-term war on drug crime.

A spokeswoman said: "Last year alone our officers seized Class A drugs with 
a street value of UKP24m and 4,108 people were charged with drug offences.

"The force has already closed down eight properties in connection with the 
unlawful use, production and supply of class A drugs.

"Residents of Merseyside should be assured that our commitment to tackle 
the scourge of drugs will continue."

Nationwide 42 crack houses were closed and 20kgs of cocaine taken off the 

Police also seized 17kgs of heroin, 1.5kgs of crack cocaine, 16,000 ecstasy 
tablets, 157 firearms, and more than UKP920,000 in criminal cash assets.

There were 963 arrests and 413 people were charged with the supply of class 
A drugs.

Home Office minister Caroline Flint said: " Police forces are working hard 
to combat the drug problem and communities have been rewarded with more 
arrests and less guns and drugs on the streets." 
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